After extensive consultation with superyacht industry stakeholders and social partners, MCA has agreed to allow twin cabins to be built for non-officer seafarers on Large Commercial Yachts of between 3000 and 5000 GT. This decision is based upon a set of substantially equivalent arrangements proposed by SYBAss on behalf of its members, the world’s leading superyacht builders.
Version 3 of The Large Commercial Yacht Code (LY3) includes the substantially equivalent Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) regulations established for large yachts. Members of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) have proven that LY3 yachts over 3000 GT would be disproportionately affected by the LY3 rule which states that all seafarers should have their own single cabin. This arrangement is very uncommon on superyachts where the comfort levels for crew are significantly higher than on commercial vessels in many other ways.
“It is clear from our studies that large yacht crew members would not benefit from the application of this single cabin rule in our sector of the industry,” explains SYBAss technical director Chris van Hooren. “To reduce the considerable economic impact of single cabins, yacht designers would likely opt for minimum MLC-standard cabins. Onboard yachts over 3000 GT such cabins would have awkward dimensions with recessed bunks and no ensuite sanitary facilities. This would actually lead to crew having lower standards of comfort than is currently the case on superyachts.”
With this in mind SYBAss submitted to the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) an application for a substantially equivalent twin cabin option for seafarers onboard LY3 yachts over 3000 GT, conditional on minimum size and provision of en suite facilities. This has now been accepted and this substantial equivalence will be included as part of the UK's MLC implementation package. MCA will also propose future amendments to the MLC once it is in force in order to provide more appropriate accommodation standards for yachts of all sizes, as have already been agreed as substantially equivalent standards with UK tripartite partners.
“We would like to thank the MCA, all members of the MCA MLC Tripartite Working Group and all members of the MCA MLC Sub Working Group for their constructive approach in this matter,” concludes Van Hooren. “One of the key roles of SYBAss is to facilitate regulations that reflect the unique nature of the superyacht industry. This decision by MCA helps support a level playing field for the large yacht sector.”